Throughout our lifetime we have different age appropriate fears.
The boogie man under the bed, not being asked to the prom, our ticking biological clocks, asking for that raise; we manage to navigate through these walls of fright and find our way to the happier, calmer other side.
And then, there are those post- 30 and then again 40 scary moments. You step out of the shower and wipe the fogged mirror with your towel as you always have, and staring back at you is a stranger. You swing the bathroom door open to further clear the steam away, it only gets worse. There, in the glass is someone else. She looks like you but she’s tired. She has horizontal lines across her forehead that were less noticeable in the steamy room. Gasp! Whoever she is, she has clearly taken too much sun. As you touch your own face she touches hers and then you try to fix her face by gently rearranging her forehead upwards while simultaneously lifting her cheeks back towards the ears. Ah…see now she looks much more like you!! Oh F&#K!!!! She is you!!!
I would like to say I’m exempt from this type of uncomfortable aging moment but I am not. Mine did not take place in the comforts of my own steamy bath but rather in public. Standing in line to purchase a snack at a music concert I could see in my peripheral a cool hippy dude checking me out and making his way towards me. I was 41 and had my son 2 months earlier and, was certainly not interested in being picked up. This young hottie made his way confidently right up to me. I smiled, prepared to let him down easy and share that I was still flattered. He looked me in the face and said, “Sorry Ma’am you looked younger from far away”.
Was there a compliment in there? Somewhere? Best to be relieved, at least I look younger from a distance? And hey hipster guy, this is an Allan Bros concert! I BELONG here. My peeps!
But I realized my physical attractiveness was in jeopardy and worried soon I’d be invisible.
Would I succumb to plumper and scalpels? Hey! No judgment or shame for anyone wanting to feel better about looking older.
And I find it interesting that if someone lives a life of power, fame or fortune and they lose it they are given sympathy. What are we given at the loss of our looks as we age?
In the article, Five Things Women Fear Most about Aging, released by EmpowerHER, losing attractiveness and becoming invisible was the top fear, beating illness and being left alone.
So what’s the take-away?
CLEANSE, EXFOLIATE, MOISTURIZE AND PROTECT. That’s our best protection against Father Time. More importantly though, is the belief our experiences, relationships and wisdom are far more rewarding than being hit on. We do not need a stranger to affirm what the life we are living does ten fold.
“The cells of your body aren’t old they are new.
Your body has the potential of being as young and as vital as it has ever been.
You don’t have old cells, you just have an old attitude about your new self.”
– A quote from Authentic Acceptance’s Face Book page